Behind the Track & Trails That Have Led To Oak Bay's Success

Through the years Oak Bay has seen numerous individual cross country champions come through their program. One of these athletes was Tyler Dozzi, who in 2016 won the Senior Boys race by over 30 seconds. Dozzi went on to compete for the University of British Columbia, where he became a multiple time NAIA All-American and just last year he won the NAIA 5000m title. Not to mention he also represented Team Canada at the 2018 World Junior Championships and in that same year became the U20 Canadian Indoor 5000m record holder, which has since been broken. As for some other athletes, more recently, in 2022, Tyler Browne won the Senior Boys title and Charlie Mlotshwa won the Junior Boys title. Browne recently represented Canada at the 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games where he competed in the 3000m final, while Mlotshwa broke the Junior Boys BC High School 3000m record en route to securing gold at the 2023 BC High School Track and Field Championships. 

"In Victoria we have a strong group of elite athletes who train in club as well. Some work alongside Bruce Deacon or with other club coaches, so they get that extra bit of training, on top of what is being done at school. At Oak Bay, we are always emphasizing the team aspect within cross country. We include athletes who have a wide range of abilities and experience in the sport, and are always looking to encourage multi-sport athletes. It is great to see kids coming out to cross country for the first time and to also work with kids who are striving for records or to win championships. Everyone works together."

In 2022, the Oak Bay Junior Boys won the BC High School XC Championship in their respective division. Mlotshwa placed 1st, with Willem Powell in 4th, Elliot Brooke in 13th and Kai Lawrence in 43rd. 

"This was a really exciting moment. We have incredible elite athletes who remain in the finish shoot cheering on their entire team as they focus on the goal of winning the title as a team. This just shows how much support they all have for one another."

As for the 2023 season, Oak Bay has completed all of their league meets. The Vancouver Island Zone Championship takes place October 18th, with the BC High School XC Championships set to take place November 4th. 

"The Island Zone is a fairly strong zone. The senior boys team is one of the deepest pools of cross country athletes Oak Bay has had. Not to mention, so many of them compete in other sports at Oak Bay. They have all been doing a million things so they haven't been at the same league meets, therefore it will be exciting to see them all race together at the Zone Championships."

Oak Bay is looking to have podium finishes in all divisions with the hope of qualifying all four teams to the Provincial Championships. 

"Our athletes are always looking to improve and we are always looking to keep building our program. Oak Bay will continue to encourage athletes to try new sports and work collaboratively as an athletics department to support multi-sport athletes within our school. We hope to continue growth and development in the years to come." 

That is just the Oak Bay way.